The strong outer layer of your teeth is called the enamel, and it helps to protect the teeth from decay and keeps them healthy. But with time, and due to certain foods and behaviours, the enamel can start to weaken and erode, making it less able to protect as it should.
There are a few common causes of dental erosion, and ways to avoid them:
Acidic Foods – Whenever you eat or drink something acidic (such as citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, apples) it temporarily weakens the teeth. Because of this, it is important not to brush right after eating or drinking these foods, and instead wait half an hour to do so. The saliva from your mouth will cancel out the acidity and restore the enamel’s strength. However, if your teeth are exposed to acidity on a regular basis, it can become more difficult for the teeth to repair themselves.
Aggressive Brushing – As we’ve mentioned in a past post, brushing your teeth too hard has its consequences. Be sure to use a gentle brushing motion, as well as a soft-bristled brush. It’s more important to gently brush every surface of the tooth instead of brushing roughly to remove plaque.
Soft Drinks and Sugars – Much like citrus fruits, soft drinks and sugars are harmful to the dental enamel. While we have always been told that sugars can cause cavities, they also can erode the enamel. Try to limit sugars, and eliminate soft drinks completely if possible.
Dry Mouth – When you have dry mouth, you’re not producing enough saliva to properly rinse your teeth and combat bad bacteria. Not only can this cause cavities, but it can make the enamel weaken and start to erode. For tips on how to treat and prevent dry mouth, our recent blog post has some helpful tips!
As with anything, a great dental hygiene routine is the best preventative measure. Be sure to keep up your regular dental appointments, so the dental team can look for any possible enamel erosion that is already occurring. To book your next cleaning with Southeast Dental in Markham, you can use our online booking form or give us a call at 905-471-2002.